Wednesday, February 29, 2012

God given Talent

I spend too much time worrying about my talents.  Am I using them to the best of my ability?  Which ones should I focus on?  Am I wasting my most important ones and instead imparting too much time and energy on ones that won’t deliver optimal results?  Some days I create intricate excuses or just throw up my hands in frustration and bury my time in some useless activity then invariably feel all the more miserable after for the time wasted.  Should I not have done something, made something, achieved something?  What a messed up ‘canvas’ I’m creating!  Maybe I was right where I needed to be at that moment and maybe I’d save so very much anxiety if I just learn to accept who I am as I am.

What I am slowly coming to realize is I am very much affected by the seasons and the weather.  William Shakespeare long ago wrote “At Christmas I no more desire a rose than wish a snow in May's new-fangled mirth; but like of each thing that in season grows.”  That is me.  There are seasons when I cannot force myself to put paint to canvas.  There are seasons when I cannot resist the allure of some warm wool in my hands as I turn it into something else.  There are times when I cannot put down a novel and other times when I have no desire whatsoever to pick one up.  I even wonder sometimes why I fill my space with things that I have no desire to use.  There are seasons that I embrace the pull of warm, rich soil in my hands as I plant and nourish and grow and there are seasons that relieve me of my guilt in not tending to all my outside spaces with the precision and attention they undoubtedly deserve, I am then elated to be finally buried inside, in the warmth, with a new set of goals in hand.

So, I’m thinking maybe I shouldn’t worry.  I also don’t need to categorize and itemize every task and talent and numerically order them from greatest to least.  I make mental lists, but then my head gets so full of all I haven’t done that I go through fits of despondency when really I might need to step back and check out the ‘canvas’ I’ve been creating from a different angle.

So what if every moment of every day is not spent with artist’s brush in hand?  Sometimes I trade it out for a hammer or a pen or a shovel or someone else’s hand.  Perhaps I’m not wasting my talents at all but using every single last one which was given to me.  I imagine it’ll take more than my lifetime to perfect any one of them but in the meantime the picture I’m creating is pretty rich.  Instead of worrying about efficiency or people’s perceptions I’m listening to the quiet…and the silence isn’t telling me that I’m wasting space or energy, the silence allows me to breathe and maybe just whispers ever so softly that I’m doing just fine.  Relax and get on with it…whatever “it” may be.

Meanwhile..."it" is painting again! ;)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Dear Sam,

Once upon a time back in the very early days of motherhood I made a promise to myself, at the time I was basking in the delicate beauty of my firstborn's new tiny face, hands and toes it seemed like an entirely realistic promise.  I'm sure too, there are many moms out there who made similar promises and managed to keep them.  I'm also equally as sure that there are a few who will understand just why I broke it.
You see, my promise was that I would write a letter to my child each and every year upon the anniversary of their birth outlining all the wonderful things about them, how far they'd come, how much they meant to me and the wishes that I had for their future.  I admit that Emma, being the first will someday receive a small pile of letters, perhaps 3, maybe 4...they're tucked safely away somewhere among the detrious of our busy lives, April being our second has at least 1 maybe 2, Isaac, our third has one for sure but Samuel...the last little miracle that appeared in our lives hasn't got even a one and for that I am ashamed.
I remember being a kid and wondering why there were albums dedicated to my older sister whereas when I arrived I dotted the albums but certainly never became the prime focus.  Being a relatively vocal individual in and around our home I didn't hesitate to whine about my lack of importance in my parents obviously displayed by their disinterest in capturing my precious and fleeting baby and childhood days with the same attention they devoted to their first.  Mom and Dad, just in case you're reading...please rest assured that even back then I kind of got it, I was only half upset and being the cantankerous kid I was, I was simply doing my best to stir the pot, but then I suspect you know that too!  ;)

Life was easy with one baby, she slept, I slept or did work around the house or wrote my love letters, life with two was somewhat more challenging, when baby slept, I gave my attention to number one, with three I just kept up and with four I ran.  Not to say anything was harder because I firmly believe you grow and adapt to your circumstances and you are only forced to grow as fast as your children do so it was all a very intrinsic and necessary process but the promise of beautiful letters went by the wayside so for today I will take just a few moments to honour my little Samuel, who may never even see this but if I'm being honest with myself, that's okay too because I hope that if we raise our children half as well as we ourselves were raised with time and maturity they will know too that they were loved, each individually and differently but unequivocally loved. 

So Happy Birthday sweet Samuel!, it seems like only yesterday I was meeting you for the very first time but in fact five years have gone and you being my last baby have received quite a lot from us all.  Your mom and dad have spoiled you in ways we know we may someday soon regret and still find it excessively hard to set boundaries when we hate to see that cute little smile turn upside down.  You know that though and it's a constant struggle to remind ourselves just how much you're really playing us!  We must remain firm to help you to become the caring, compassionate and unspoiled individual we hope you will grow to be. 
The day of your birth was different from all your siblings, mom had been through two normal deliveries and then when Isaac appeared all bets were off, he became an emergency section and so 3 years later my choices were taken from me and you were my first elective C-section.  So your birth was really quite simple and straightforward, I knew what to expect and just couldn't wait to see who you were.  Being a farm family, when the doctor lifted you out he congratulated your daddy saying, "You've got yourself a farmer!"  That was our first laugh because dad quickly asked the doctor what that meant since the best farmers in the family have been the girls.  We were so happy to have a second little boy though and felt like we'd won a jackpot, two sisters close in age and now two brothers perfect! 
And really, it has been.  You've been a calm and sweet kid from the day of your birth,  maybe requiring a little more attention and longer cuddle times as a baby when we were helping you to sleep, but then we were only too happy to supply as we realized fully by then just how fleeting baby days are.  Otherwise you've always been thoughtful and interested in examining or discussing how things were put together or what was said and analyzing it all.  Quite a little man actually.  Last year your wish was to be a scientist or a vaccuumer when you grow up, this year, I think the scientist still makes the list but with your own little responsibilities made clear by now in assisting your siblings with picking toys up and putting bedrooms back together the other occupation has gone by the wayside.  You love your lego and although delight in getting a new kit to construct are at your happiest with a fistful of mismatched pieces that you will spend hours working and reworking into different creations each night after your school aged siblings have gone to bed and showing us your self proclaimed "latest vention".  We still let you cuddle down occassionally between us in bed as much for us as you, there's absolutely nothing sweeter than watching you drift asleep little guy and I know too soon you'll be too grown up to even ask.  I savour each of those nights and it really doesn't require much effort at all to lift you up and gently settle you back into your own bed just a little later.  You are the image of your father, the cutest little thing Emma has ever seen, perfect little student for April and the best of chum Isaac could ever have.  For me you are more precious and wonderful than I could ever attempt to vocalize.   I wish you health and dignity, I hope you continue to grow to be as thoughtful and analytical as you have always been, always thinking things through first, I think that's a trait that will serve you well in years to come.  I hope you're kind and compassionate and treat all people with respect and honour.  I look forward to seeing the man you will someday become but for now I hope you are happy and that life is joyous, I know you are smart, I hope kindergarten is wonderful...and I hope that not a day goes by that you don't know that we love you!  Happy Birthday!  Love, Mom